Hilary Mantel reviews ‘Tormented Hope’ by Brian Dillon · LRB 5 November 2009

Anxiety about a specific symptom is more bearable and easier to rationalise than the diffuse ontological malaise that used to be known as spiritual despair. It is easier to say ‘my knee is killing me,’ because we know it isn’t, than to dwell in the belief that the clock is ticking and that the journey from birth to death is a journey to extinction; it is better to have a symptom than to have a void inside.

Hilary Mantel reviews ‘Tormented Hope’ by Brian Dillon · LRB 5 November 2009